No compulsion!

Scripture reading for June 27th: Philemon, Psalm 127, Proverbs 3

Philemon: 12-18 “I am sending him (Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave) back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the Gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion, but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer a bondservant, but more that a bondservant, as a beloved brother–especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.”

The short letter of Paul to a friend and fellow pastor covers insight into God’s working in a culture that had human slaves. God wants all men to be free from sin and its power. Paul had met Onesimus, Philemon’s run-away slave, while in prison in Rome. He shared the Gospel with him and he became a brother in the Lord. After a time of discipleship, Paul was sending Onesimus back to Philemon. He asked Philemon to receive him as he would receive Paul, himself. Paul explained that nothing in God’s kingdom was to be done under compulsion, but only through faith with grace. God’s grace would cover any wrongs as we apply His law of love for our brothers. God is building His House, the Church by faith through grace! He loves a cheerful giver as He is One!

Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for building Your House through the Gospel. In Your House, all slaves of sin have been made sons, brothers and sisters with Christ Jesus! Help me to show grace to all people because of the grace and forgiveness that I have received myself. Use me to bring peace and brotherhood to all social classes or nationalities. I want to bless others and see them restored!

Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”

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